Awards and Honors

Student Recreation Center Receives the NIRSA 2016 Outstanding Sports Facilities Award 

The NIRSA Outstanding Sports Facilities Awards recognize the innovative designs of new, renovated, or expanded collegiate recreational facilities of NIRSA Member Institutions. Winning facilities exemplify the institution’s commitment to providing the higher education experience desired and valued by students.

Read more about the Student Recreation Center renovation.

Keith Russeau, architect at The Collaborative; Dr. Steve Kampf, director of Recreation and Wellness; Dave Serra, architect at The Collaborative

Student Recreation Center Recognized as a Top 10 Renovated Rec Center in the December 2014 Issue of University Business Magazine  

BGSU Student Recreation Center Welcome Desk

University Business Magazine featured the Student Recreation Center in the December 2014 issue, highlighting the "wow" factor of the newly renovated facility as well as the newly designed, welcoming front entrance. The judges also noted the increased accessibility to the upper and lower levels of the facility.

NAMI Champion 2023 - Ashley Hartman

This person helps to contribute to our mission and supports our cause publicly in the community. Ashley played an important role with NAMI Wood County over the last three years. While at her current role at BGSU, she has worked to bring NAMI presentations like Mental Health First Aid and Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) to the campus community. With these presentations, she has secured funding for NAMI staffing costs, expanded NAMI Wood County reach, and has helped to grow our programs. She is actively making an effort to have a NAMI voice included in vital conversations. She is the co-advisor for NAMI BGSU and has made it possible for the students to have a voice on campus for student mental health efforts.

Ashley Hartman holding a round glass award plaque.
The NAMI Champion award is for an individual in our community who has worked closely with NAMI through past employment and/or volunteerism

2021 Ohio Society of Public Health Education Award

Outstanding Contributions to Health Education- Faith DeNardo

2019 American College Health Association Best Practices in College Health Award for the Faculty and Staff Health and Wellness Coalition of ACHA.


Presented to Faith DeNardo, Wellness Connection Director, and other colleagues from across the country who work with the coalition.

Bowling Green State University Earns Bronze Level
HealthLead™: US Healthiest Campus Accreditation

The HealthLead™ US Healthiest Accreditation Programs recognize organizations that demonstrate best practices in health management and well-being.  HealthLead™ is designed to set the standard for workplace and campus health management by expanding the definition and breadth of health to include integrated well-being support services and engagement and leadership in community health issues. HealthLead™ helps organizations learn and continue to improve the quality of delivered services.

Find this article on Zoom News.

HealthLead Accredited Workplace US Healthiest Bronze Logo

Student Affairs Awards

It's On Us Committee – 2015-16 Collaborative Effort Award

Health Enhacement Program – 2010-11 Collaborative Effort Award

Late-Night Events Committee – 2006-07 Collaborative Effort Award

Wellness Connection Student Awards

Be the Creed Peer Education Programming: 2018 BACCHUS Program of the Year

Matt Reising
 – 2016 BACCHUS Region IV-East Outstanding Peer Advisor

Devin Smith – 2015 BACCHUS National Peer Educator of the Year

Student Wellness Network – 2015 Student Organization Educational Program of the Year – Applauding Excellence Award for the Fifty Shades of Reality Event

LaParis Grimes – 2015 BACCHUS Regional Peer Educator of the Year

Christopher Otte – 2014 BACCHUS Network Regional Peer Educator of the Year

Sarah DeWitt – 2014 BACCHUS Region 7 Outstanding Advisor of the Year

Brian Gulko – 2009 Citizenship Program of the Year - Gregory T. DeCrane Applauding Excellence Award for National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week - Student Wellness Network Emerging Male Leader

Ashley Remer – 2009 BACCHUS Network Outstanding Student

Be The Creed Educators Photo
Be The Creed Peer Educators. From Left: Megan Carnahan, Lily Mack, Jordyn Dwyer, Emily Kollar, Audra Gill
Matt Reising Photo
Matt Reising, Wellness Connection Graduate Assistant

2021 NIRSA Creative Excellence - 1st Place Student Digital Publication
Welcome Back to the Rec - Staying Well Together Video

Designer: Pablo Gomez-Estevez

The goals of this video were to provide a welcome message to patrons of the Student Recreation Center as the facility re-opened in the summer of 2020. The target audience was students, faculty, staff and community members. We provided a quick and fun means through which new policies could be over viewed through our website and social media with a video.

2021 NIRSA Creative Excellence - 2nd Place Student Publication
Fact or Fiction: Social Norms Educational Campaign

Designers: Haley Zywiczynski, Marketing Student Supervisor and Dominique Buchanan, Marketing Student

This project was designed to bring awareness on a number of topics surrounding social norms and their misperceptions. Topics include alcohol, e-cigarettes, marijuana, prescription drugs, and opiate use. BGSU students were educated through various cards, magnets, buttons, and print materials regarding social norms and their misperceptions at our university in an engaging, unique way.

2021 NIRSA Creative Excellence - 2nd Place Integrated Marketing Campaign
THRIVE - Inspiring Your Well-Being Journey

Design Team:
Haley Zywiczynski: Marketing Student Attendant: Brand development and lead graphic designer
Dominique Buchanan, Marketing Student Supervisor: Brand development and lead social media
India Islam, Marketing Student Attendant: Assist with brand development, design, and social media
Faith DeNardo, Wellness Connection Director: Brand development and wellness related programming
Karyn Smith, Fitness Director: Brand development and fitness related programming
Lona Leck, Recreation and Wellness Assistant Director: Brand development and oversight of design, video, and social media
Pablo Gomez-Estevez: Marketing Student Attendant: Video

Bowling Green State University Recreation and Wellness' THRIVE, a campus-wide well-being initiative, was developed to provide fundamental life skills, resources, and support by promoting the integration of the 8 dimensions of well-being: Physical, Social, Environmental, Intellectual, Emotional, Spiritual, Occupational, Financial. The creative pieces within the project were designd to build awareness of 8 dimensions of well-being, to educate students, faculty, and staff on how to integrate them into their daily work and personal lives.  

2019 NIRSA Creative Excellence – 2nd Place Large Format Installation

Lead Designer and Step Up - Step In ODHE Grant Primary Investigator: Lona Leck, Assistant Director
BGSU Graphic Designer: Paul Obringer
BGSU Communications Manager: Jacquie Nelson

BTSU Step Installation
Bryce Heilman - Wellness Connection Practicum
Hyunjin Lee on Stroh Center Steps
Hyunjin Lee - RecWell Marketing Practicum

The BGSU Wellness Connection’s Interactive Installations submission was the Step Up-Step In” campaign, whose messaging emphasizes bystander intervention strategies. The phrases “Step Up-Step In” and “Falcons got your back” were marketed to students, faculty and staff on T-shirts, flyers, social media, digital screens and other physical outreach formats. The overall purpose of the campaign was to encourage active participation in creating a culture of shared respect at BGSU.

The two phrases and installations were meant to “help make your residence hall, classrooms, activity spaces, and the entire community a place where others feel safe and protected. Let those who live, work, and learn here know that you’ve got their back,” according to Faith Denardo, wellness connection director and Title IX deputy coordinator.

The installations were inspired by Wellness Connection’s Bystander Intervention programming and It’s On Us initiative. The “Step Up-Step In” message calls students and the community to action to intervene and help prevent sexual violence. Funding for the installations came from a grant from the Ohio Department of Education for Changing Campus Culture received by Recreation and Wellness for the 2017-18 academic year.

The large-format graphics were placed throughout campus on staircases and murals, where they could be seen by anyone using the Bowen-Thompson Student Union grand staircase or Stroh Center south staircase, or visiting the Falcon Health Center, Student Recreation Center, Slater Family Ice Arena, Title IX Office and the Center for Women and Gender Equity. For maximum impact, they were designed and installed creatively to encourage interaction and support for the initiative. For example, willing participants were able to engage with the signs by physically stepping over the messaging and up a staircase located between the first and second floors of the Union.

“I’m most proud of the multiple collaborations that made the project possible in the first place,” said Lona Leck, assistant director of Recreation and Wellness. “And the volume of support our department has received from all divisions on campus and the level of involvement from so many students who believe in the message and in making a difference is humbling and inspiring.”

2016 NIRSA Creative Excellence – 3rd Place Student Digital Presentation

Digital timeline displaying the history of recreation at BGSU | BGSU Recreation and Wellness Through the Years
Researcher, Writer, and Designer: Erica Pax, graduate student

This Tiki-Toki timeline features a diverse selection of photos, videos, and personal stories throughout the history of the department. It is part of a modern marketing plan that honors the past, and celebrates the future.

The timeline was developed after uncovering several boxes in a storage room at the Student Recreation Center prior to the 2013-14 facility renovation. Photographs of staff from the past, artifacts from anniversary celebrations, old t-shirts, complete photo albums, and other items including meeting minutes, event agendas, programs, and numerous documentation were uncovered. The decision was made to develop an interactive digital timeline that would provide a long-term place where stories about the history of the department could be cataloged for readers to enjoy for years to come, and in which new stories could continuously be added as new items and information are uncovered. Over time the focus of the project expanded to encompass the history of recreation at BGSU from its founding in 1910 to present day. The target audience includes current BGSU students, faculty and staff, and community members as well as BGSU alumni who are provided the opportunity to contribute to the ever growing history and remember their time at BGSU as employees or participants in recreation programming. 

Erica conducted much research in creating this timeline. Each photo or artifact told a story, but additional work was necessary to uncover the complete story. Individuals shown in photographs and referenced in various documents as well as long-term staff were contacted for interviews, and additional research was carried out at the BGSU Center for Archival Collections, the Wood County Courthouse, and online. All of the information was compiled and synthesized to create each story, and references were included for each source. Additionally, many photos were low quality or damaged from years of storage and were repaired in Photoshop.

The project was launched in January 2016 as part of the RecWell Rewind campaign, and content is circulated weekly on social media, the RecWell blog, campus closed circuit television screens, and on RecWell homepage banners. The help of practicum students, Alexia Chesbrough and Brent Darah, has been critical to the success of the campaign. 

BGSU Recreation and Wellness Through the Years digital timeline

Erica Pax, graduate student manager

Brent Darah and Alexia Chesbrough

Brent Darah and Alexia Chesbrough, marketing practicum students

2016 NIRSA Creative Excellence – 3rd Place Website

Lead Developer: Lona Leck, assistant director of marketing and student employment
Developer and Photographer: Erica Pax, graduate student manager
Developer: Lindsay Harmon, marketing associate
Developer: Joel Hartman, marketing assistant
Developer: Brooke Martin, marketing assistant
Developer: Mike Gragg, marketing assistant
Content Administrator: Malissa Davis, secretary

The Recreation and Wellness website was designed as the ultimate source of information about the department including programs, events, schedules, policies, and facilities for BGSU students, faculty and staff, and community members. The website was completely overhauled during the 2014-15 academic year during the transition from the Rhythmyx content management system to the Adobe AEM content management system. Project goals included improving the website's appearance, branding, and ease of navigation as well as to create a site that was memorable, beautiful, and useful to all audiences. 


Lona Leck, assistant director of marketing and student employment

Lona Leck, assistant director of marketing and student employment

2015 NIRSA Creative Excellence – 2nd Place Programming Publication

Birthday Party Coloring Book
Designer: Libbey Snyder, marketing associate

The birthday party coloring book was designed as a unique promotional product for distribution to children attending birthday parties hosted by Recreation and Wellness. The twenty-page booklet contained sixteen unique coloring pages featuring original artwork, a variety of children's activities, and prominently featuring the BGSU mascots and Recreation and Wellness branding. To include an educational component, each page also included the phrase "Happy Birthday" written in a variety of different languages. The booklets also contained information about birthday party packages and birthday party guidelines. 

Birthday party coloring book front cover
Birthday party coloring book inner page

2013 NIRSA Creative Excellence – 2nd Place Website

Lead Developer and Photographer: Lona Leck, assistant director of marketing and student employment
Developer and Photographer: Jordan Cedoz, web and technology associate 
Developer: Jillian Harris, web and technology manager
Content Administrator: Linda Hammer, administrative assistant

The Recreation and Wellness website was designed to be the ultimate source of information regarding facilities, programming, employment, and general information, and was designed to be interesting, entertaining, and informative. The target audience was BGSU students, faculty, and staff, and community members. 

2013 NIRSA Creative Excellence – 3rd Place Student Digital Presentation

Sexual Assault Awareness Website
Designer: Megan Rose, marketing and web design associate

The sexual assault awareness website was designed to contribute a unique look and presentation of important information regarding sexual assault awareness to BGSU students, faculty, and staff. Images were shot specifically for the website with an emphasis on evoking the emotions of the end user surrounding the concepts and definitions of sexual assault awareness. The information presented on the site was lauded by the Sexual Assault Awareness committee members as unique and creative. 

2012 NIRSA Creative Excellence – Programming Publication Honorable Mention 

Drinking and Driving Pledge Flyer
Designer: Jodi Wellman, marketing web and technology associate

The purpose of the Alcohol Awareness pledge flyer was to raise awareness against drinking and driving, and it primarily targeted students at BGSU. Flyers were distributed to numerous students at the Bowling Green State University Recreation Center.

2011 NIRSA Creative Excellence – 2nd Place Programming Publication

Graduate Assistant Recruitment Brochure
Designer: Piper Kullas, graphic design intern

The brochure was designed to recruit prospective graduate students to BGSU Recreation and Wellness, and the target audience included juniors and seniors at colleges and universities throughout the country as well as others attending NIRSA or ORSA events. It was designed to be delivered to students by our professional staff at conferences and to be downloaded from the website. The goal of the piece was to briefly describe the graduate assistantships offered through the department; to outline the application process, deadline, and requirements; and to convince graduate students that an assistantship with Recreation and Wellness would be a fun, educative decision. The brochure was designed to look fun and mature, and to represent the next step in these students lives.

2011 NIRSA Creative Excellence – 2nd Place Audio Visual Publication

Recreation and Wellness Programming Video
Videographer: Anthony Althauser, student web and technology manager

This video was designed to promote the department of Recreation and Wellness at BGSU and in the local community with the primary objective of informing viewers of the wide range of programs and facilities that the department offered students and the general public. The video was designed to capture and maintain the attention of its audience by using fast-paced, interesting, and exciting imagery coupled with the use of a clear, informative, and effective monologue. 

BGSU Recreation and Wellness

2010 NIRSA Creative Excellence – 3rd Place Student Programming Publication

Monster Mash Wellness Bash Late Night Event Poster
Designer: Emily Martin, graphic design technology associate intern

This poster advertised the 2009 Monster Mash Wellness Bash Wellness Connection Late Night event to the campus community. The Monster Mash is a part of BGSU Late Night Events Programming, designed to give students alternative and healthy late-night entertainment options. Initially, the two-week project timeline was considered a limitation, but the designer had so much fun making it that it ceased to be a worry. The event was a huge success with over 500 students in attendance. 


2009 NIRSA Creative Excellence – 3rd Place Website

Lead Developer: Lona Leck, assistant director of marketing and student employment
Developer: Melissa Rausch, student web manager
Content Developer: Scott Sehmann, assistant director
Content Administrator: Linda Hammer, administrative assistant

The newly redesigned web presence for BGSU Recreation and Wellness was a graphic representation of the re-branding that had taken place within the University beginning in the fall of 2009; uniting all departments with a distinct and consistent feel. The creative process for the 1000 + item redesign encompassed a six month period of time. The web developer and one student assistant conducted individual meetings with program coordinators for the nine distinct functional areas and the four facility directors resulting in a comprehensive list of updated information, documents, and files needed for the site. Challenged by the limitations in BGSU’s Content Management System, relationships were cultivated with the BGSU Office of Marketing and Brand Strategy and the BGSU Office of Web Development whose assistance was required for the changes and approval of unique and separate navigational necessities; a template all inclusive of left, sub, and right hand navigation. Beyond functionality, the developers personally shot and included over 400 new and unique images of patrons and staff and cultivated content and layout criteria including new web graphic standards, cascading style sheets, and other visual components.


Winner of the NIRSA 2014 Recreational Sports Journal Award

Dr. Stephen Kampf, former BGSU Director of Recreation and Wellness, along with Eric Teske, former RecWell Staff Assistant, won the NIRSA 2014 Recreational Sports Journal Award. Dr. Kampf is pictured at the right at the 2014 NIRSA Annual Convention.

2016-2017 Administrative Staff BG Best Award Winner

Lona Leck won the BG Best Award presented annually by the Administrative Staff Council. Pictured at left is Lona, with nominator Dr. Faith DeNardo. Read the complete BGSU Zoom News story.

Dr. Steve Kampf, director of BGSU Recreation and Wellness

Student Affairs Outstanding Staff Awards

Ethan Engel - 2016-2017 Outstanding New Professional

Erica Pax - 2015-16 Outstanding Student Employee

Dr. Faith DeNardo – 2013-14 Outstanding Administrative Staff Member

Terry Carver – 2011-12 Outstanding Classified Staff Member

Cathy Swick – 2009-10 Outstanding Administrative Staff Member

Bryan Cavins – 2008-09 Outstanding Administrative Staff Member

Thad Long – 2004-05 Outstanding Administrative Staff Member

Linda Hammer – 1999-00 Outstanding Classified Staff Member

Scott Levin – 1999-00 Outstanding Administrative Staff Member

Jodi Laubis – 1996-97 Outstanding Classified Staff Member

John Booth – 1990-91 Outstanding Classified Staff Member

Ronald Zwierlein – 1986-87 Outstanding Administrative Staff Member

Updated: 04/30/2024 01:26PM